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ESPN: D-backs’ Marte is poised to break out in 2019

Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte heads to home plate on a RBI single by J.D. Martinez during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

There is no doubt that 2018 was a breakout season for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte.

In his first year as the D-backs starting second baseman, Marte had the best season of his young career, recording career-highs in many categories such as home runs (14), runs batted in (59), hits (135) and slugging percentage (.437).

Marte also led all of Major League Baseball in triples with an outstanding 12 three-baggers.

With that being said, Marte’s surprising 2018 encouraged ESPN’s Jeff Sullivan to include the 25-year-old in his list of the 15 position players he believes will break out in 2019.

Let me tell you exactly what I love about Marte. Of 355 players with at least 200 plate appearances, Marte ranked 29th in K-BB ratio. He ranked 25th in maximum exit velocity. Of the 28 players who hit the ball at least 115 mph, Marte finished second in K-BB ratio, behind only Mike Trout. Good eye? Check. Good power potential? Check. Marte also just happens to be a heckuva sprinter — fast enough that the Diamondbacks are moving him to center field. In 2018, Marte took a step forward. In 2019, he should push to make the All-Star Game.

In 2019, Marte will reportedly be replacing All-Star A.J. Pollock in center field, a position he has only manned twice in his major league career.

Although he may not have much experience at the position, Marte is in no way lacking confidence.

When Pollock got hurt last May, Marte immediately walked into D-backs manager Torey Lovullo’s office and said he was the best center fielder on the team.

There is no doubt this offseason is a big one for Marte and his future with the D-backs, but this season will be a great opportunity for him to prove himself after recent departures have left questions on where the production will come from.

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